A Hero’s Journey | Build Your Own GoPro PFD

This weekend a friend and I were tossing around ideas to more effectively capture the beautiful creeks and rivers in our area. Within minutes we had a prototype PFD (Personal Floatation Device) in-hand and were headed to the usual Bottom Creek testing ground in Bent Mountain, Virginia.

The hull, as it were, is an inverted Jr. Coleman cooler lid with a 1-inch thick layer of styrofoam trimmed to fit the recessed inner-side. We added a piece of duct tape to the top, secured a flat GoPro mount and wrapped the works in duct tape. Saving a few air holes that slowly took on water over time, the maiden effort performed amazingly well.

I’ve since added a strip of duct tape to the perimeter edges to fill any gaps in the styrofoam, allowing water to shed more cleanly from the deck. The cooler lid works well in that it is double-walled, with a pocket of air between two layers of durable plastic, providing more than adequate buoyancy for a GoPro. The rectangular, ark-like shape of the boat is ideal for tracking and stability at higher volumes. For an enhanced spinning effect, you might try replacing the lid with a Frisbee (or similar) and see what happens.

Thanks for visiting.

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